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ADW_INSTALLCORE
Aliases: Packed.Win32.InstallCore.a (Kaspersky), a variant of Win32/InstallCore.F application (ESET), Adware/InstallCore (Fortinet), Trojan.Win32.Generic!BT (Sunbelt)
Malware type: Adware
Destructive: No
Platform: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003
In the wild: Yes

Overview


Infection Channel: Dropped by other malware, Downloaded from the Internet

This adware arrives on a system as a file dropped by other malware or as a file downloaded unknowingly by users when visiting malicious sites. It may be manually installed by a user.

It connects to certain URLs. It may do this to remotely inform a malicious user of its installation. It may also do this to download possibly malicious files onto the computer, which puts the computer at a greater risk of infection by other threats.

Technical Details


File size: varies
File type: EXE
Memory resident: No
Initial samples received date: 08 Aug 2012
Payload: Connects to URLs/IPs, Displays message/message boxes, Drops files

Arrival Details

This adware arrives on a system as a file dropped by other malware or as a file downloaded unknowingly by users when visiting malicious sites.

It may be manually installed by a user.

Installation

This adware drops the following component file(s):

  • %UserTemp%\is{random number}\{random number}.cfg
  • %UserTemp%\is{random number}\{random number}_Setup.CIS
  • %User Temp%\ish{random number}\csshove3.htc

(Note: %User Temp% is the current user's Temp folder, which is usually C:\Documents and Settings\{user name}\Local Settings\Temp on Windows 2000, XP, and Server 2003, or C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Local\Temp on Windows Vista and 7.)

It creates the following folders:

  • %User Temp%\is{random number}
  • %Start Menu%\Programs\Uncompressor
  • %Program Files%\Uncompressor
  • %Program Files%\Uncompressor\Uninstall
  • %User Temp%\ish{random number}

(Note: %User Temp% is the current user's Temp folder, which is usually C:\Documents and Settings\{user name}\Local Settings\Temp on Windows 2000, XP, and Server 2003, or C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Local\Temp on Windows Vista and 7.. %Start Menu% is the current user's Start Menu folder, which is usually C:\Windows\Start Menu or C:\Documents and Settings\{User name}\Start Menu on Windows 2000, XP, and Server 2003, or C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu on Windows Vista and 7.. %Program Files% is the default Program Files folder, usually C:\Program Files in Windows 2000, Server 2003, and XP (32-bit), Vista (32-bit), and 7 (32-bit), or C:\Program Files (x86) in Windows XP (64-bit), Vista (64-bit), and 7 (64-bit).)

Other System Modifications

This adware adds the following registry entries as part of its installation routine:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
Uncompressor
DisplayIcon = "%Program Files%\Uncompressor\Uninstall\Uninstall.exe"

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
Uncompressor
DisplayName = "Uncompressor"

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
Uncompressor
UninstallString = "%Program Files%\Uncompressor\Uninstall\Uninstall.exe /Uninstall"

It adds the following registry keys as part of its installation routine:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
Uncompressor

Download Routine

This adware connects to the following malicious URLs:

  • http://cdneu.{BLOCKED}ile.com - inaccessible
  • http://os.{BLOCKED}ile.com - inaccessible
  • http://rp.{BLOCKED}le.com - inaccessible
  • http://cdneu.{BLOCKED}n.com/app/AfterDownload/uncompressor_big_repack.cis
  • http://cdneu.{BLOCKED}n.com/ofr/BabylonToolbarV7.cis
  • http://cdneu.{BLOCKED}n.com/ofr/IWantThis_ADL_ROW_V1.cis
  • http://rp.{BLOCKED}freecdn.com/?pcrc={random}

NOTES:

This adware uses the following icon:

It displays any of the following installation windows:

It asks user if it would like to install the following applications:

  • Babylon's Toolbar
  • IWantThis

It displays any of the following installation options:

If the user agrees to install the said applications it drops and executes the following files:

  • %User Temp%\is{random number}\MyBabylonTB.exe
  • %User Temp%\is{random number}\IWantThis_ADL_ROW.exe - ADW_GAMEPLAYLABS

Upon installation, it drops the following non-malicious files:

  • %Desktop%\Uncompressor.lnk
  • %Start Menu%\Programs\Uncompressor\Uncompressor.lnk
  • %Start Menu%\Programs\Uncompressor\Uninstall Uncompressor.lnk
  • %Program Files%\Uncompressor\7z.dll
  • %Program Files%\Uncompressor\uncompressor.exe
  • %Program Files%\Uncompressor\Uninstall\uninst.dat
  • %Desktop%\Continue FoxTab PDF Creator Installation.lnk

It drops either of the following files as copies of itself:

  • %Program Files%\Uncompressor\Uninstall\Uninstall.exe
  • %UserTemp%\ICReinstall_{Grayware File Name}.exe

Solution


Minimum scan engine: 9.200
SSAPI Pattern File: 1.315.00
SSAPI Pattern Release Date: 09 Aug 2012

Step 1

Before doing any scans, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 users must disable System Restore to allow full scanning of their computers.

Step 2

Scan your computer with your Trend Micro product and note files detected as ADW_INSTALLCORE

Step 3

Identify and terminate files detected as ADW_INSTALLCORE

[ Learn more ]
  1. Windows Task Manager may not display all running processes. In this case, please use a third-party process viewer, preferably Process Explorer, to terminate the malware/grayware/spyware file. You may download the said tool here.
  2. If the detected file is displayed in either Windows Task Manager or Process Explorer but you cannot delete it, restart your computer in safe mode. To do this, refer to this link for the complete steps.
  3. If the detected file is not displayed in either Windows Task Manager or Process Explorer, continue doing the next steps.

Step 4

Remove malware/grayware files dropped/downloaded by ADW_INSTALLCORE. (Note: Please skip this step if the threats listed below have already been removed.)

    • ADW_GAMEPLAYLABS

Step 5

Remove ADW_INSTALLCORE by using its own Uninstall option

[ Learn more ]
To uninstall the grayware process

Step 6

Search and delete these folders

[ Learn more ]
Please make sure you check the Search Hidden Files and Folders checkbox in the More advanced options option to include all hidden folders in the search result.
  • %User Temp%\is{random number}
  • %Start Menu%\Programs\Uncompressor
  • %Program Files%\Uncompressor

Step 7

Delete this registry key

[ Learn more ]

Important: Editing the Windows Registry incorrectly can lead to irreversible system malfunction. Please do this step only if you know how or you can ask assistance from your system administrator. Else, check this Microsoft article first before modifying your computer's registry. Before you could do this, you must restart in Safe Mode. For instructions on how to do this, you may refer to this page If the preceding step requires you to restart in safe mode, you may proceed to edit the system registry.

  • In HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall
    • Uncompressor

Step 8

Scan your computer with your Trend Micro product to delete files detected as ADW_INSTALLCORE. If the detected files have already been cleaned, deleted, or quarantined by your Trend Micro product, no further step is required. You may opt to simply delete the quarantined files. Please check this Knowledge Base page for more information.


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Analysis By: Abraham Latimer Camba
Modified By: Rhena Inocencio

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